• Susan Van Meter

We're Dreaming of a Green Christmas: A Guide To Making This Your Most Eco-friendly Christmas Yet!



White Christmas? We’re Dreaming of a Green One!




Being green this Christmas doesn’t mean being a Debbie Downer. It’s not about making anyone feel guilty, it’s about finding a balance between our old traditions and new habits. It’s a time for showing love and gratitude - let's extend that to our planet as well.


During Christmas time we are especially prone to over consumption in many ways. However, it’s easier than you think to reduce your consumption and help the environment, by making very minor tweaks and swaps to your Christmas routine.





With a little effort and imagination we can make it a new family tradition this year to go green...



So, let’s make this Christmas our most eco-friendly yet!

Here are my simple tips, tricks, and ideas on how to do so...



Rent Your Christmas Tree

Did you know you would have to use a fake tree for over 10 years for it to be more sustainable than the real deal? So, what’s the happy alternative where you can support local business, wildlife, & help the environment?


You can rent a real tree from a local farm, decorate and care for the tree during the festive period, then they will pick it up and replant it in January. With this zero-waste option you get to enjoy the magic of a healthy tree and not have to worry about what to do with it after the new year.


A simple google search will help you locate your nearest Christmas tree rental service. You should always rent a Christmas tree from a grower local to you so that travel doesn't counteract the environmental benefits.


Here are a couple of London based suppliers:


Christmas on The Hill

Holly Berry Trees

London Christmas Tree Rental




Recycle Your Christmas Tree


Come January 7 million Christmas trees will be dumped into landfills.


If you’re buying a real tree, make sure it’s FSC-certified (responsibly sourced). To avoid the landfills come new year, it’s great to have a plan to recycle it in place!


Recyclenow will show you drop-off points in your area, where your old tree will be recycled into chippings for local parks and woodland areas.




Opt for Eco-friendly Crackers


You could either buy 100% recyclable crackers or... Replace single-use crackers with reusable ones. They are made from natural materials and allow you to add your own personalised plastic-free gifts. The perfect eco-friendly finishing touch to the lunch table!


Check out these fabulous sustainable picks:

Kaneo

Nancy & Betty

Ecovibe



Green Gift Giving


Gift giving is one of the joys of Christmastime. However, we want to be thoughtful with how we spend our money. Haven’t you received gifts that you were so thankful for but it ended up in the back of a cupboard collecting dust? You are not alone. Nearly 50% of adults in the UK have received gifts they did not want and will never use.

Here are a few gift giving tips that will ensure your money is well spent and that your gift is truly cherished:


Quality over Quantity: One of my favourite sentiments that holds true over many things in life. Buying fewer but better-quality gifts lessens the possibility of gifts going to waste and can be kinder on your wallet too.



Gift an Experience: There’s no better way to avoid the landfill and reduce demand for natural resources than by gifting an experience. It’s a definite way to give your loved ones something that they won’t soon forget. Whether it's a concert or experience in nature - it’s a unique way to bring people together.


Highgrove garden tours are glorious! The perfect gifted experience. I have taken the champagne & tea tour a couple of times and still want to go back!


Materials are Key: Keep the materials that the gifts are made for in mind. Avoid single-use plastics that can’t be recycled, ensure woods and papers are made from FSC certified materials, and opt for organically made clothing and organically grown foods.


Shop Vintage, Handmade, & Local: Antique/vintage clothing, art, decor, and furniture is also a must. Second-hand products are the perfect way to give a green gift that extends the lifecycle of existing products and helps to cut down demand for new resources. Shopping local can also reduce the carbon footprint of delivery and, more than likely, manufacturing as well, especially if it's made by hand.



Send Earth-Friendly Christmas Cards


There is a special magic in the tradition of sending Christmas cards. Here are a couple of green options to ensure you won’t end up costing the earth:


FSC Certified Cards

Cards that feature the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) logo on the back guarantee that the paper has been sourced from ethically and sustainably run forests.


Recycled Cards

Cards made from recycled materials and printed using renewable energy. 1 Tree cards even use vegan inks!



Plantable Cards

Companies like 1Tree Cards plant one tree (in an area of mass deforestation) for each card you buy, and also come with seed tokens to grow flowers for bees. It’s a lovely way to make your gift that much more thoughtful - as well as benefiting the environment






Wrap Up Sustainably


Look for wrapping paper made from recycled or FSC-certified paper. Avoid plastic ribbon and tape, and foil-backed papers, or those with glitter which aren’t recyclable. There are also fun tape-free wrapping techniques you can learn online. Reusable packaging can be a unique and beautiful touch to your gift!



Re-Wrapped has lots of prints and patterns made from recycled paper to choose from.

Ecovibe has sustainable tags, paper tape, gift bags, wrapping paper, ribbon, and twine.



Deck The Halls


Decorating our homes one of the best ways to spread Christmas cheer! Here are a few of my favourite picks for earth-friendly decorations:

Nkuku

Everything from Nkuku is made with natural, recycled and reclaimed materials using sustainable methods of production. From gorgeous garlands to stylish wreaths, and to beautiful recycled glass baubles and tree toppers, Nkuku has it all.


They also support and work with skilled artisans throughout the world and ensure they are paid a fair wage and work in ethical conditions.


Natural Wood Company

We talked about renting a Christmas tree, but what about one that’s made sustainably and lasts forever? This wooden tree from Natural Wood Company is made from FSC accredited kiln dried oak. The fabulous craftsmanship allows each branch to be shaped to whatever formation you might desire. A unique and gorgeous alternative!


Arena Flowers

The most ethical florist in the UK? Arena Flowers. With their stunning arrangements you can have peace of mind knowing that everything is ethically sourced and all workers are paid a living wage. Their arrangements are long-lasting and curated by hand.


Candles

The aroma of Christmas is one of the most important ingredients that creates that magical atmosphere! For me, there is no better way to get into the Christmas spirit with a gorgeous scented candle.


Gold Moss Candles are hand-poured and made with natural, renewable soy wax, vegan-friendly, cruelty-free fragrance and essential oils, cotton wicks, and packaged in recyclable amber glass containers. They also go one step further and plant one tree for every sale, amazing!


Make your own decorations

Give your home an eco-friendly rustic Christmas aesthetic.


Bringing the outdoors in not only gives you Biophilic benefits - but is an easy way to create inviting, stylish, and eco-friendly seasonal decor for the home. Let’s swap out the tinsel for natural foliage!


Also, rather than buying new, you can upcycle old decorations or make your own from spare material from around the house.







Eco-Friendly Sparkle


Enjoy the sparkle of Christmas by using LED lights and using candles where you can. A simple way to lessen your energy consumption this Christmastime.


There are now even solar-powered Christmas lights available. However, these work best for those where there is enough daylight to power them during the winter months.





Go Green With Your Advent Calendar





Instead of buying single-use advent calendars, buy or make a fabric or wooden one. You can then fill it up, year after year, with treats of your choosing. Here are a few of my favourites:


Fortnum & Mason Wooden Tree Advent Calendar

Liberty Recyclable Best Beauty Calendar

Etsy Fabric Calendar





Curb Your Food Waste


Food waste is responsible for 11% of global greenhouse emissions. UK homes average 7 million tonnes of food waste each year. Nearly a third of people admit to throwing away more food than usual come Christmastime.

How can we combat food waste this year?

  • Plan your food needs in advance.

  • Don’t buy items solely because they are traditional - make sure they will be eaten.

  • Shop local, organic produce.

  • Buy seasonal fruit and vegetables - more resources and chemicals are required to farm those that are not in season.

  • Eat less meat.


Take a look at our Guide to Fabulous Christmas Fireplaces next!



STYLISH. SUSTAINABLE. SMART

London based Sustainable Luxury Interior Design

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